Rating: 4.5/5 – Slowly Building to the Next Big Revelation.
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Adam Alamo.
I don’t know where I’ve been the last 29 issues, but I’m a newcomer to Terry Moore’s Rachel Rising. It’s understandable, though, since there are so many great books out on the market that this got lost in the mass of offerings. I think it’s almost a miracle when a small independent publisher like Abstract Studio can get its comics into the hands of the average comic reader. Still, I heard great buzz about it and my most trusted comic friends recommended the title, so I gave it a shot. I’m really glad I did because it’s quickly become one of my top 3 comics. The story starts off simple enough with the title character clawing her way out of a shallow grave to discover that she was murdered. Who killed her? Why does she have no recollection of the events leading up to her tragic fate? Most importantly, how is she still walking around? These are some of the mysteries the book sets out to solve and it’s been a wild and unexpected ride that’s provided plenty of answers to date, but also more questions.
This issue finds Rachel attempting to recreate the circumstances of her “death” in the hopes of gleaning some insight. Despite all we’ve learned about Rachel up to this point, the basic events surrounding her initial passing have eluded us. I can’t say we learn much about it this issue, but Moore steadily continues the slow burn that’s been his style with this series. His story arcs typically crescendo into some major revelations and I’d say with this particular one, we are probably somewhere near the beginning. Maybe this isn’t the best place for a new reader to start, but I believe there’s enough here to give a flavor for what the series is about and to get them interested in more. There’s plenty of humor coming from a psychopathic, murderous child, bloodshed and death from a demon-possessed bear/husband, and one heck of a creepy ending that ran a chill up my spine. Moore also impresses with his beautiful art. It’s realistic, highly detailed, and presented in a moody black and white. Occasionally he works color into the covers to mix it up, but the standard black and white certainly adds to the ambiance of the series. He often favors copious amounts of wordless panels to move the story along and nearly half this issue is devoid of narration or dialogue. He tells the story with the art, which is unique to the comic book medium, and I appreciate it when a writer chooses this method of storytelling. He also draws beautiful women, but not in the over-sexualized, unrealistic manner of many other comics. It all goes back to his realistic style, which firmly grounds the series in a seemingly normal world (as normal as it can be with zombies, witches, demons, and serial killers running around).
Overall, this issue may be a pit stop in the larger narrative that Moore is creating, but I went into this issue knowing that he plays the long game. Moore meticulously moves the story forward while subtly dropping at least one new plot point that should inevitably pay off. He also manages to take many different elements and mesh them together well to create a book that is simultaneously creepy, humorous, and at times heartfelt. The series is of the horror genre for sure, but this issue demonstrates that often it is so much more than that.
Reviewed by: Adam Alamo
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